Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Moron Mail

We interrupt OPG's publicity stunt for a late-breaking Moron Mail...

We need more gatekeepers people! I'm not going to do a full-on fisk of this letter. It's long, windy, asserts opinion as fact (e.g. "our crumbling infrastructure" - Oh, really? Where? The new $20 million Guthrie Theatre falling apart already?), and looks as if it has been cut and pasted straight from a DFL broadcast e-mail. So I'm just going to concentrate on this one small part that contains an actual, verifiable lie (emphasis mine):


Minnesota has a proud tradition of AAA bond ratings, fine schools, a great university, sound infrastructure and a secure safety net for our most vulnerable citizens. We know that excellence requires an investment.

Under Pawlenty and Sviggum, we have lost that bond rating, our schools are in distress while property taxes soar, University of Minnesota students have seen 80 percent tuition increases [maybe, but on the upside, they're getting their money's worth -ed.] , our road congestion is strangling business, and every year we make cuts to those formerly covered by MinnesotaCare.



Ahem. To wit:

The state receives credit rating on its general obligation bonds from three credit rating agencies. The state's current ratings are:

Moody's Investors Service Aa1
Standard & Poor's Corporation AAA
Fitch Ratings AAA


Of course she's probably talking about the Moody's rating which went from an Aaa to Aa1, which is kind of like the difference between winning a baseball game by 9 runs rather than 10. But the state did maintain AAA in the other 2 ratings. So the lie here is really one of omission and exaggeration. (OHMIGODOHMIGODOHMIGOD!!!!!!!! MOODY'S DROPPED OUR RATING byamerefractionwhiletheratingsremainedatthehighestlevelbytheothertwoagencies. Ihopetherearenoenterprisingbloggersouttherewhowillbothertolookitup.)

We will bump OPG's whacked out ramblings back to the top as soon as he reports on his press conference. Thank you for your patience.

UPDATE: Forgot to point out this little table (scroll about halfway down the page - the table is just below the photo of a pile of $50 bills) that tends to show Moody's fickle view of Minnesota bonds. Note that even the Moody's rating is higher now than it was in 1990.

Say, wasn't Minnesota more of a "blue" state than a "purple" one back then?

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